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77

The deputy put his hand firmly against the door, and
leaned forward with his shoulder against it, but almost
casually. "Open up/' he commanded, "and, Uncle, maybe
you better light a lamp."

Mr. Munn followed the deputy through the door into the
interior of the cabin, where the dark seemed, on the instant,
close and inimical and suffocating, like a depth.

The match flared in the hand of the man and touched the
wick of the lamp to a smoky flame. The man turned his
gaze on Mr. Munn, His face, Mr. Munn now observed, was
yellowish, and the eyeballs were yellow, too, and too large.

" Whut you want, boss?" he asked Mr, Munn.

"Well-----" and Mr. Munn hesitated, and looked toward

the deputy's impassive face. He felt like a coward, a sneak,
when the rest of the sentence wouldn't come out and he
looked toward the deputy; and he was sure the deputy,
noticing his hesitation and his appealing glance, had put him
down as a coward, too, or a fool.

"Well, Uncle," the deputy said matter-of-factly, "where
do you do you all's cooking? You got a kitchen?"

Even as the deputy spoke, Mr. Munn was aware of the
woman who lay huddled under the quilt in the bed just out-
side the direct rays of the lamp. He was aware of her be-
cause of her eyes, which in the shadow were glinting and
dark and steady and not quite human, like the eyes of a nest-
ing bird staring at the intruder from the interior shadow of
a tree, or the eyes of a rabbit in its form.

"We cooks in the other room," the negro man was say-
ing; and the deputy stepped to the closed door and pushed it
back with a familiar gesture. "Bring the light," he directed.
Mr. Munn followed the negro man, who carried the lamp, into
the other room, aware all the while of those eyes fixed on him.

"Where do you keep your knives and forks and such?" the
deputy demanded.

"In that-air drawer in the safe," the negro said, and pointed
toward the dark, leaning cabinet, which was propped up on
bricks.